press release

Los Modernos. Dialogues France/Mexico follows the exhibition Los Modernos, shown in Mexico in 2015 at the Museo Nacional de Arte (MUNAL) and in 2016 at the Museo de las Artes Universidad de Guadalajara (MUSA). The exhibition has met its audience with great acclaim, with more than 200,000 Mexican visitors.

In Lyon, as in Mexico, the exhibition displays the two collections of the Museum of Fine Arts and of the MUNAL, to highlight the dialogues and divisions between two modern art scenes, from 1900 to 1960. The exhibition is enriched by numerous exceptional loans from other European and Mexican museums and private collections.

Los Modernos, in Lyon, presents three added sections: the first examines cubism, in particular the iconic Diego Rivera and his links with the Parisian scene, the second puts in light Mexico's attraction for the French surrealist movement, and the third focuses on photography—a first at the museum of Fine Arts—exploring the shared cultural perspectives between Mexican, American and French photographers. A selection of Mexican heritage gathered from collections in Lyon (films, ethnographic objects, birds and insects) introduces the exhibition. Los Modernos includes more than three hundred artworks, among which a hundred photographs.

The exhibition focuses primarily on the connections fostered by the modern artists present in the museum’s collection in Lyon with their Mexican contemporaries. It evokes the movements in which the latter had a particular interest, thus shining a light on the neo-impressionist, fauvist, cubist, and surrealist schools, as well as research into abstract art, in the wake of the Second World War.

The purpose of the exhibition is not only to highlight the intermingling of the two scenes, but also to bring out the contrast between them, and to show how Mexican artists managed to progressively free themselves from a cultural tradition they had borrowed from the French, in order to follow their own path. Amongst the artists on display from the French scene are: Pierre Bonnard, Henri Matisse, André Derain, Fernand Léger, Albert Gleizes, María Blanchard, Georges Braque, Robert Delaunay, Francis Bacon and Pierre Soulages, and, from the Mexican scene: José Clemente Orozco, Diego Rivera, Frida Kahlo, David Alfaro Siqueiros, Rufino Tamayo, Carlos Mérida, Germán Cueto, Gerardo Murillo (Dr. Atl), Mathias Goeritz, María Izquierdo.

Throughout the exhibition, guided tours in French / English / Spanish, late openings, workshops for children /for all and a series of conferences will be held for the public.